Summit County real estate transaction volume showed another double digit increase in February rising 16% to 92 transactions. That follows a 13% gain in January and a 12% increase for all of 2012.
Dollar volume did not fare as well as sales shifted to lower priced properties. Dollar sales totaled $40.7 million down 6% from $43.1 million in February of 2012. As has typically been the case over the last 10 years, both volume and dollars took a seasonal dip versus January falling 15% and 24% respectively.
Average selling prices for single family homes at $878,488 is still running well ahead of the $764,455 for all of last year. In contrast, multi-family pricing is well down at $309,637 vs $353,339 in 2012. It is a little early in the year to decipher a definitive in trend and the variations so far seem to reflect more a change in mix than actually a substantial change in pricing for like properties. Our sense is that per square foot pricing is rising at the high end of the market ($1 million and up) while the lower end (under $600,000) is flat at best.
Overall, volume does remain concentrated in the lower end of the market. In the month, 76.6% of sales, both single and multifamily, were less than $600,000. That number was 77.1% for the year to date versus 72% for the year to date number a year ago.
Notably, inventory continues to show substantial year over year declines. As of March 1, inventory was down a little over 10% from the prior year, which itself had seen 12% from 2011. If volumes continue to rise and inventories fall, stronger prices are sure to follow. Lower distressed property activity should also contribute to a firmer market.